Spatial and taxonomical overlap of fungi on phylloplanes and invasive alien ladybirds with fungal infections in tree crowns of urban green spaces

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Occurrence of entomopathogenic fungi on phylloplanes in Tilia x europaea crowns between 1 - 13m was assessed in urban parks. Prevalence of fungal infections in ladybirds (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) collected from T. x europaea was assessed to determine whether fungi found on phylloplanes also occurred as infections in ladybirds. Isaria spp. was most abundant on phylloplanes (mean colony forming units (CFU) per leaf ± SE, 0.33 ± 0.03) followed by Beauveria spp. (0.22 ± 0.02 CFU per leaf) and Lecanicillium spp. (0.19 ± 0.02 CFU per leaf). Densities of inoculum were higher in inner crowns and decreased with height, although Lecanicillium spp. peaked at 5 – 7m. Upper phylloplane surfaces harboured higher densities of Isaria spp. and Beauveria spp. than lower surfaces, whereas Lecanicillium spp. was equally distributed. Most prevalent on ladybirds were Isaria spp. (20. 6% H. axyridis; 4.8% natives), Lecanicillium spp. (13.6% H. axyridis; 4.8% natives), with fewer Beauveria spp. infections (2.6% H. axyridis). Molecular identification revealed B. bassiana, B. pseudobassiana, I. farinosa and L. muscarium among isolates of both tree and ladybird origin. Tilia x europaea phylloplanes support a diverse assemblage of entomopathogenic fungal species with a different prevalence in coccinellids compared to their relative abundance in this habitat.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberfiw143
JournalF E M S Microbiology Ecology
Issue number9
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016

ID: 162854719